Thursday, February 09, 2006

Rudy Project Ekynox

I've been using these Rudy Project Ekynox sunglasses for two bike seasons and almost two ski seasons. That's if you charitably count what we've had this winter as a ski season.

Yes, they're outlandish looking, but they had the best field of view of any model I tried. People in cars give me a little extra room when I wear them.

The Rudy rep said, "You and Jan Ullrich are about the only people wearing those."

I never expected to hear that Jan Ullrich and I had anything in common except a tendency to overeat in the off season. And I catch myself grinding too big a gear on occasion, but Jan in the same gear would be spinning his brains out.

The smaller Ekynox SX does not cover the upper and lower areas as well. Riding in the drops I would be looking at the top of the frame, or over it, which defeats the purpose, especially since I need the prescription insert.

With the prescription insert I can use the stock Rudy outer lenses. My second choice, the Graal Fyol, used prescription lenses directly in the frame, so I would have had to buy multiple sets of expensive lenses.

Rudy Project names sound like they came out of the IKEA catalog. That's kind of annoying. But the glasses work well.

My prescription pushed the limit. According to the Rudy catalog and website, it exceeded it. But Omar the Prescription Guy assured me they could shoehorn my lenses into the insert and it would work.

My eye doctor warned me that the angle of the lenses in the isert would lead to prismatic distortion. Because I was getting a pro deal on the glasses, I figured it was worth the experiment. If they were awful I could put the outer glasses in stock and only have lost the price of the insert.

They were very weird at first. Shortly after I got them I took a 50-mile ride on a summer afternoon. I wanted to do a bit of a depletion ride to burn off some excess barbecue and ice cream, so I brought very little food. Late in the ride, burning reserves, the visual distortion reinforced the mental haze that goes with any depleting effort. I felt like I was watching a movie. It was bad enough when I was fresh. In the last few miles it was downright strange.

The human brain is an amazing thing. After a few more rides I could slap the glasses on and perceive the view as normal. I couldn't see the distortion even if I looked for it.

If you go for Rudy glasses with the prescription insert, be sure you get not only the prescription right, but the interpupillary distance. That one's a little hard to measure, but with the lenses pretty radically angled you don't want to miss it by much. I think my left eye doesn't quite line up with the optical center of the lens on that side.

The glasses came with dark gray lenses, but I use the polarized brown or the clear ones most of the time. Polarized lenses are excellent on water or snow. The clears are good for cloudy days, dusk, night skiing or skiing in snow. I keep meaning to get amber or light red lenses to improve contrast on flat light days.

Riding in heavy rain I did find that water collected between the outer lenses and the insert. If I know I might encounter heavy rain I will use my regular glasses. Posted by Picasa

No comments: